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Art at its best in Puppet fest

See various forms of puppetry at the Ishara International Puppet fest.

art and culture Updated: Jan 31, 2012 00:51 IST
Namya Sinha
Ishara International Puppet fest

A-Puppet-show-during-the-Kite-flying-festival-at-India-Gate-lawn-in-New-Delhi-on-Saturday-HT-Photo-Virendra-Singh-Gosain

When you think of puppets, the image of strings controlling their movements will surely come to your mind.

But at the 10th edition of the Ishara International Puppet festival in the city, you will come across puppets made from things like handkerchiefs, lamps, and rolls of paper towels, apart from the regular string and hand puppets.

“I use hand puppets and the rest is puppetry made from a lamp, a roll of paper towels, a pillow and a bathrobe,” says Hilary Chaplain from USA, whose performance is called A Life in Her Day.

“I am using string puppets for my acts, but they are very different from the traditional Rajasthani puppets. While Rajasthani puppets are moved using hands, my puppets can be moved only using a cross. One of my puppets is unique because it is just made of scarves and handkerchiefs,” says Mohammad Shameem, who is going to perform the act called Hamara Circus.

The festival, which is going to be held in both Delhi and Gurgaon, will have puppetry performances by artists not only from India, but also from across the world.

“This year, we have groups and artists from Germany, USA, Israel, Taiwan, as well as Afghanistan, which is making its debut with the Parwaz Puppet Theatre Group,” says Dadi Pudumjee, founder of the Ishara Puppet Theatre.

“This is our second performance in India. The first one was in 2010 at the National School of Drama where we had showcased BOZAK-E-CHINI (The Goat and the Wolf). We’re excited that we will get a chance to show this again here,” says Ahmad from the Parwaz Puppet Theatre Group.

The festival will also give a chance to other puppeteers who are not performing at the festival. “We will also have platform performances outside the venue by talented puppeteers, who will get a chance to showcase their skills,” says Pudumjee.

The puppets displayed at the Ishara festival will be showcased in an exhibition at the India International Centre from February 2 - 11.

Facts and more
What:
Ishara International Puppet Festival
When: 3rd - 13th Feb at India Habitat Centre; 1st to 5th Feb and 13th to 15th Feb at Epicentre, Gurgaon
Entry: Tickets available at India Habitat Centre for Rs 250 and Rs 100, and at Epicentre Gurgaon for Rs 250

Schedule:

Hamara Circus (India)
When:
1st February, 7.30 pm
Where: Epicentre Gurgaon

The Earth & The Universe (Iran)
When:
2nd February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre Gurgaon
When: 5th February, 6.30pm
Where: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre

A Life In Her Day (USA)
When:
3rd February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 5th February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre Gurgaon

Sanjay And His Master (Germany)
When:
4th February, 7pm and 8.15 pm
Where: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre

Bozak-e-Chini (Afghanistan)
When:
7th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 4th February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre, Gurgaon

Paper Cut (Israel)
When: 8th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 13th February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre, Gurgaon

The Backyard story (Taiwan)
When:
6th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 3rd February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre, Gurgaon

Oh rats! and A package for Granny (Australia)
When: 9th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre

Creation of earth, based on adivasi folk tales (India)
When: 10th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre

Chick with a trick
When: 11th February, 6.30pm and 8pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 14th February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre, Gurgaon

The Circus Stachamoose (Ireland)
When:
12th February, 6.30pm and 8pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre
When: 15th February, 7.30pm
Where: Epicentre, Gurgaon

Gone with the Feet (Italy)
When: 13th February, 6.30pm
Where: Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre